About animals

Forest hinged back tortoise - Forest hinge-back tortoise


Kinixys SPP (Bell, 1827)

General information.
Members of the genus Kinixys are distinguished by a unique carapace, which has hinges. They provide these turtles with extra protection. Hinges are located between the 7th and 8th shields and between the 4th and 5th ribs. These are the most terrestrial of all turtles described in this book.

Currently, 5 species are recognized - Kinixys belliana (Gray, 1831), K. homeana (Bell, 1827), K. erosa (Schweigger, 1812), K. b. spekii, K. lobatsiana. The last two species differ in their shape. Kinixys belliana is widespread - from Senegal and northern Cameroon through southern Africa to Madagascar. The list of species and subspecies of the genus Kinixys includes Kinixys homeana, K. erosa, K. belliana belliana, K. belliana nogueyi, K. belliana zombensis, K. b. spekii, K. lobatsiana and K. natalensis (Hewitt, 1935). Some authors also distinguish K. b. mertensi from northern Zaire and Uganda. It is very likely that subsequently new forms will be highlighted.

The maximum sizes noted for males K. belliana belliana are 206 mm, for females - 217 mm. Carapace is dull yellow with darker brown or reddish-brown central scutes. The back of the carapace is rounded. Kinixys homeana and K. erosa are very different from K. belliana in appearance. Their carapace is almost completely painted in reddish-brown tones with a rather dark center of the scutes. In these turtles, the back is sharper than in K. belliana.
The size of the Kinixys erosa males - the largest of the articulated turtles - often exceeds 315 mm, females - 250 mm. K. homeana is smaller in size. Males rarely grow more than 208 mm, females - more than 220 mm. Kinixys natalensis is the smallest known species of the genus Kinixys, up to 155 mm, it is much closer to K. belliana than to K. erosa or K. homeana.

Conditions of detention.
It is not so easy to generalize the requirements for the conditions of all Kiniks, since they inhabit a surprisingly wide range of biotopes, from coastal plains and savannas to the edges of forests and swamps. If you don’t know what exact location your particular specimen comes from, it will be very difficult for you to choose comfortable conditions for it. In this case, select the environment in accordance with the reactions of your turtle. The starting point can be a relatively high humidity and daytime temperatures of 24 - 28 ° C.
For K. natalensis and K. belliana, the climate should be drier, as they live in the savannah. Water should always be present, since Kinixys (especially K. erosa and K. homeana) love to drink and even swim. Forest species prefer more shelters than those found in open areas. But all species tend to be secretive and prefer to have shelter in case of danger. Many kiniks are more active in rainy weather. It is a known fact that in South Africa, K belliana hibernate in very dry periods of the year. These turtles feed and become active at dawn and dusk. All of these turtles have relatively large eyes - compared to turtles that live in open, lit places.
In South Africa, K. natalensis and K. belliana hibernate during the winter. In captivity, this is not necessary, but there is a relationship between sexual activity and the cooling period, so if you want to breed your turtles, hibernation may still be necessary. In this case, it should be about 2 months, starting in December, at a temperature of 12 - 14 ° C. In order to maintain humidity during this period, it is necessary to regularly spray the terrarium with spray water.

Kynixes are omnivorous, but prefer mushrooms, snails, a mixture of fruits (especially with bananas) and earthworms. Also, greens suit them very well. When kept in outdoor enclosures, turtles will graze and eat wild herbs, snails and slugs.

The main diseases.
It is necessary to beware of the invasion of Hexamita, especially for animals from large trading parties. K. erosa and K. homeana are prone to eye diseases if temperature and humidity are not observed. It is advisable not to mix different types of Kinixys, not only because of the possibility of hybridization, but also because of incompatibility in behavior and habits.

Male kiniks can be very aggressive, so they should not be kept together in a common terrarium. K. erosa is apparently the most aggressive of all, and the two males will seriously compete, often causing injuries to each other. Mating can also be quite traumatic.
K. belliana lay more than one clutch during the summer, often at intervals of 5 to 8 weeks. In clutch usually 4-8 eggs, sometimes up to 10 (in large individuals). The eggs are elongated, about 38 x 48 mm in size and weighing 23 - 32 g. The variations in weight are apparently explained by the fact that different species (and subspecies) can lay eggs of different sizes. Therefore, the size of the young can also vary greatly. C. belliana during hatching usually have a size of 38 - 47 mm and weigh 17 - 25 g. The appearance of newborns can also differ from both adults and other species. The hinges on the shell will not necessarily be clearly visible. In K. erosa and K. homeana, young turtles have a strongly jagged edge of the shell and a common pointed appearance.
Captive incubation should be carried out at a temperature of 30.5 ° C with high humidity (75 - 80%). At a temperature of 30 - 3 ° C, the incubation period is 90 - 110 days. In nature, the incubation period changes (depending on the time of laying) and reaches even a year. At low temperatures, eggs can remain viable, but the percentage of dead cubs will be very large, and the incubation time will be extended indefinitely.

Distribution and habitat

The hinged back turtle is indigenous to tropical forests in sub-Saharan Africa. It is often found in swamps and rivers, where he spends most of his time buried under roots and logs.

Its natural range extends from northern Angola, throughout the Congo Basin, as the Far East, as on the shores of Lake Victoria, and throughout West Africa forests as far as Senegal. In particular, it is located in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal , Sierra Leone, Uganda, possibly Benin, possibly Guinea-Bissau, and possibly Togo.


A Hingeback tortoise can arch its back 90 degrees down to protect its tail and hind legs while sleeping and to protect itself from predators. This is a great swimmer and can dive and navigate the rainforest of ponds in search of food. Females lay up to 4 eggs on the ground covered with leaves.

Distribution and habitats

The length of the carapace is up to 32.3–35 centimeters. It has an elongated and flattened shape. The color of the carapace is brown (may have a black pattern) with two yellowish stripes, slightly flattened and pushed forward. Edge guards (11 pieces) pointed. The scruff of the neck is usually not. The plastron is yellow, there is an inter-neck shield. The head is yellow in color with a brown pattern. The tails of males are longer and with a spike at the end. Their plastron is slightly concave.

The length of the carapace of newborns is about 4 centimeters.

Distribution and habitats |